Patreon Critiques


“Deluge” by Gina Hawes watercolor on Aquabord

“Deluge” by Gina Hawes
watercolor on Aquabord


Deluge is watercolor on aquabord of a young boy playing in a puddle of water after a rainfall. He's dressed in a rain jacket and rain boots, holding a cup that it looks like he's used to make a splash in a large puddle. His look is contemplative, like he is captivated by the properties of water. Sometimes children stare as they are mesmerized and curious. This painting captures that moment. It's a moment that we have all experienced when left alone to explore after a rainfall. He is somewhat silhouetted as there is a soft evening sun behind him. It adds an angelic glow around his head and shoulders, giving the viewer a sense of a heavenly presence surrounding him.

The lines of the figure in the foreground transition beautifully from hard dark edges to soft light edges, indicating shadow and and light. The softened and blurred background is painted masterfully and does exactly what it needs to do, it pushes the subject forward and emphasizes the clarity of the detail in the foreground.

If this painting was broken down into graphic shapes, the viewer would see the focal point landing right under the hand, the point of highest contrast. This painting could be abstracted into shapes and still stand as a solid work of art. The foundation of the composition of shapes in this painting are well balanced.

The forms in this painting are structured well . The full spectrum of highlight, light, core shadows, shadows, cast shadows, and reflective light are painted with a sensitivity that is not typically seen in watercolor. The transitions are flawless. I know how hard it is to paint on this surface and the job you've done on blending is astounding.

Space. Space is so important in a work of art. You've created such a dynamic depth of field in this work. You've composed the focal point in the foreground and delicately softened the background and it recedes beautifully. There is a clever way that you began the background fade right outside of the puddle. The puddle contains the realism and outside of that, it is blurry. That should be explored in future pieces! That sort of abrupt change is unique, it makes the piece unique and is the thing that makes this work a true painting and not just a rendering of a photograph. It's brilliant.

Value is your strength. Your sensitivities to the subtle transitions of color and tone are at a master's level. It's something that I've seen as a trademark of your work. You have a full scale of whitest lights to blackest darks in this painting, which makes the contrast so eye catching. This is a painting that commands the viewer's eye. It's the contrast that grabs and holds the eye.

The over the top genius of this piece is in the texture of the water. I can feel the water. You've achieved the rough texture of the cement below the water and the gentle texture of the water ripples. I cannot imagine this image being painted any better than you have painted it.

This is it! You nailed it.

I feel that this piece is definitely a success and a great model for you to follow for future paintings. You mentioned that you struggled with a highlight here or there. These struggles do now show up in the final piece. I see such a focused artistic voice in your work. The only thing you have to do, is make more paintings.

Your gift for the watercolor medium comes so naturally to you. You don't need to overthink it, ok? Just paint. You have a brilliant eye for all of the subtle things that make a good work of art.

You have the right recipe figured out.